QUESTION: I realize it’s important to network on LinkedIn, but I’m not sure where to start. How do I go about making new connections on LinkedIn?
I recommend you join groups that you are interested in and read the articles and posts made by the members of the group. Then, send them a connection request and perhaps reference one of the articles or posts to start a conversation. You can use this same strategy to comment on posts in your feed, then connect with the author. Go to company pages and see who the employees are and connect there.
Begin connecting with peers, current/former coworkers and managers, and those you know through industry-specific groups. Review email and membership rosters if you get stuck for names. Immediately connect with those you meet at business networking and social events. Search LinkedIn for people that work at companies you are interested in. Accept connect requests from those within your industry.
It’s important to participate on LinkedIn. Creating your own posts to share information, articles, etc. of interest to your connections is a great way to stay top of mind. However, jumping into the conversation by commenting on other people’s posts or articles will help you “meet” people outside of your circle. Don’t forget to stay in touch with the contacts you have already.
Feeling brave? Add a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) or two to your network. Search for “LION + recruiter + [industry / function] + [location].” LIONs want you as a connection, and you will benefit from their extensive second-degree network (now your third degree circle). Strategically become findable quickly by people you don’t know, then build your network organically with people you do know.
Look for experts and peers in your field: join Groups that reflect your expertise, follow companies of interest, and follow people you admire. Comment on these company, Group, or peer updates, then issue a connection invitation stating your interest in their work. Regular engagement and visibility in these areas will help promote your own skills and make people more likely to network with you.
First step is to have a complete, compelling LI profile. Then you are ready to make connections. By default, LI will pull all of your contacts and offer to send connection requests. Don’t do this! Choose people you know professionally – past bosses & co-workers, vendors, and others you interacted with in each position; college alumni; community leaders & friends. Always personalize the request.
Invite friends and colleagues to connect with you. Review those suggested on your LinkedIn profile – People you may have worked with; School alumni you may know; People you may know – and invite them to connect. Add Your LinkedIn URL to Your Email Signature. Join and participate in Groups and network within Groups. Post content to which others can respond and connect.
The first step to networking on LinkedIn is to make sure all of your LinkedIn profile sections are populated; this is especially true for the “Interest Section.” The Interest section on LinkedIn will connect you with like minds and expand your network beyond colleagues to strangers who have similar interest as you. The second step is to join groups. The third step is to post updates regularly.
First, send customized invitations to friends, work colleagues, managers with whom you have a good relationship, and even some customers. Next, reach out to 2nd-level connections. You may already know some of them. If not, in your invitation say how you both know [person]. Third, join groups; like and comment on others’ posts. After a while, reach out to people who share your values and interests.
Start by connecting with people you know. From there, follow your target companies and connect with people at those companies. Check out the “People You May Know” sidebar. Try to connect with 1-2 people each day. ALWAYS add a short personal note with your invitation! Finally, ENGAGE on LinkedIn by posting about topics that interest you and commenting and sharing other peoples’ content.
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